This page is for Peter Morris, the player from 1884; for the author of the same name, click here.
Peter R. Morris
- Bats Unknown, Throws Unknown
For the longest time, almost nothing was known about Peter Morris. He was listed as P. Morris, playing one road game at shortstop for the 1884 Washington Nationals (also known as the Washington Unions) of the fledgling Union Association on May 14, 1884 in Chicago, IL.
In 2007, SABR researcher and namesake Peter Morris tracked down the player. He was the shortstop for the reserve team of the Northwestern League's Milwaukee team (known as the Brewers or the Maple Leafs) in 1883 and 1884. These reserve teams were constituted in part to keep players away from the new Union Association, which many at the time considered an outlaw league as it refused to respect existing player contracts. It is therefore ironic that Morris would end up playing for a Union Association team.
The Milwaukee reserves traveled to Chicago on May 13, 1884, to play a series of games with the Chicago Blues, a local amateur team. Morris played in all the games of the series, except for the one on May 14, when P. Morris showed up in the Unions' line-up. There is a documented connection between the Milwaukee and Washington ball clubs that year, as Morris' teammate John Deasley would join the Nationals less than a week later when the Milwaukee reserves disbanded.
Morris was born in Wales on January 1, 1854; he would be the first major leaguer from Wales, an honor long credited to Ted Lewis. His parents emigrated to Wisconsin when he was still an infant. He died in rural Columbus, WI on December 9, 1884 in an accident while coupling cars at a railway station. The death was reported in the Milwaukee Sentinel of December 11. He is buried in the Welsh Methodist Cemetery in Ixonia, WI.
- "Peter Morris Finds Himself", in Bill Carle, ed.: Biographical Research Committee Report, May/June 2007, Society for American Baseball Research, Cleveland, OH, p. 1.